We’re ramping up again!
So, our little one, Sophie, is now fast heading towards 2 years old. Priorities change, and the awesome game you wrote that is taking longer than Duke Nukem Forever to develop dropped off the Earth.
Except I never did let Red Forest die- and work is still being done on it. As mentioned in previous posts, it’s not going to be such a huge project, I’m keeping it simple. Right back at the start this was about recreating a 90’s pod racer, so that’s what I’m going to ensure it stays.
So, what’s the plan?
Well, first, I’m preparing the office space. Equipment is being set up as we speak, and I have a lovely area to work with the development machines, several synthesizers for that Red Forest ‘raw’ audio feel, some budget phones, a cut up toilet roll (We experimented with VR in Red Forest way back in 2013, and I cannot recommend anybody use the toilet roll headset technique although at the time it was awesome! I’ll blog about that later.) some pretty boring chairs and a bean bag that will probably ruin what posture I have.
Second, we’re plotting out our time. I’m ramping up “office” hours to ensure some solid development is done, returning from the “As and when some time appears” schedule that took hold when Sophie was born. Because time never just appears!
Third, I’m going to be looking back at everything we’ve proposed in the past, and looking at what I originally wanted from Red Forest, and building a solid MVP. It’s basically what we currently have bar a handful of issues:
- The GUI overhaul was never quite completed so the current build on steam prevents you from finishing races since the UI for that wasn’t built. That was a huge regression in that build! That is to be completed first so racers can start progressing.
- The handling system is to return to the original system. The new handling system almost trippled performance and pod capacity but caused the game to lose character, so we’re going to pick character here. Yes, this makes the game a bit harder, but it actually feels more like you’re piloting instead of playing a game.
- The track generator will be peeled back, with features retired in place of memorable tracks. Too many features means the tracks all felt the samey and no features stood out. Earlier track generators were more limited, but somehow provided a much nicer feel. Again, character over feel.
- Unique Pod count: Artwork remains an issue, I am not going to lie. However, several factors need to be resolved here. I’m minimising the number of pods in the initial release to allow us to get this out of the door. Pods included to ‘tip the hat’ at Unity will be removed. Why? Unity has gained a bit of a bad name for ‘reskins’ and ‘asset store spinners’ that shove out assets from the asset store as games. This is unacceptable, and the idea behind including any of these assets will just be misunderstood by gamers. There are currently 12 pods but they are a tad…well, ‘samey.’ Now, Games like Rollcage, which we are aiming to pay our respects to, only had a handful, and I think I was completely over-blowing this trying to shove so many in previously. With the upgrade system, to keep a 90’s feel, we should only need a handful of pods. A specific number isn’t flying around, but 5 should do, providing each does have different traits (Which they do, by the way, already.)
- In-Race Pod count: Whilst 128-pod races is absolutely Ludicrous, and that is exactly what we wanted, 64 pods provides the exact same feel. If performance is hit with the above changes, we’ll drop down to 64 pods officially.
- Multiplayer will not exist in the initial version to ensure a release. This feature has taken substantial development time so far and still requires a lot more work to be reliable. I fully intend on providing this feature as what is one of these racers if you can’t take your own pals out on the long and straight? I’ll need to ensure an initial release is out to keep morale running, then focus on the next set of features.
- The price will be reviewed, as will be the release platforms. The scene has changed a lot in the last few years!
Fourth, there is a *lot* of content on this site that has been deprecated by newer browsers. I will be recompiling all of these over the next few months to ensure you can see all of our older toys and projects. There are some real fun mini-games in the One Game a Month section of the site- Including a super early version of Red Forest. I will most probably start with that one so you guys can see where this game came from.
We’re still a low budget studio. I registered the company on a tiny budget of just a few grand back in 2013 because I can generally find the resources needed to get things done. Since then across the board. Whilst we have had a fair few failures, we’ve also had plenty of success stories, and I really should speak about those more on here instead of just spitting out posts about why we aren’t done yet.
I will also blog about some of my much older projects to keep you (and myself) entertained. There are some corkers, and some embarrassments. Who doesn’t love an embarrassing story at somebody else’s expense, right?